Showing posts from June, 2021


In 1960, Harper Lee's famous book, To Kill a Mockingbird , came out. Her name debuted in American records eleven years later.  As with many feminine surnames associated with historical people, Harper was Lee's pen name. She was actually named Nelle Harper Lee. However, Harper has some seen feminine usage long before To Kill a Mockingbird  came out. According to Eleanor "Elea" Nickerson on British Baby Names, 4-9 instances of girls named Harper appeared in English census records every twenty years between 1841 and 1901.  Of course, having history is far from enough to make a name traditional. Many girls did not receive surnames as first names until the late twentieth century. This means that most surname names, including Harper, are contemporary for girls.  Harper didn't even rank for girls before the mid-2000s. It first entered the top 1000 in 2004 and shot into the top 100 in 2011 and the top 10 in 2015. Harper left the top 10 in 2017, but it came back the next y

Top 100 Vintage Girls' Names

They say that every three to four generations, old-fashioned names become popular again. Today I discuss I list the most popular vintage girls' names. In order to qualify, a name must: have first peaked before 1945. have ranked in the top 200 within the world, connects to a famous person, or contains a sound that fits in with old names while ranking in the top 1000.  sound usable. not be timeless, but also not feel especially tied to a single decade (sorry, Lucy and Alice).   I will list every vintage name in order of popularity rank.  Isabella (#7) Abigail (#13) Ella (#15) Penelope (#25) Hazel (#32) Violet (#37) Stella (#42) Ivy (#58) Sophie (#75) Sadie (#78) Cora (#88) Adeline (#100) Josie (#134) Eloise (#138) Juliette (#180) Ada (#184) Millie (#190) Olive (#197) Rosalie (#198) Arabella (#202) Annabelle (#222) Lila (#226) Elsie (#233) Margot (#234) Lola (#240) Vera (#246) Vivienne (#260) Evangeline (#263) Lucille (#271) Adelaide (#274) Angelina (#290) Thea (#303) Maisie (#409) Ha

Five-Letter Contemporary Girls' Names: A to Z

Five-letter contemporary girls' names mix contemporary and simple/raindrop styles. While many contemporary choices are liquid, like Harper and Willow, there are plenty of short choices, too. Today I list five five-letter contemporary names that were ever given to a total of at least 50 girls under each letter:  A Adair Alani Amara  Aspen  Avery B Blair Blake Bliss Briar Brynn C Cairo Capri Cedar Chaya Cielo D Daiya Darby Davis Dream Dylan E Egypt  Ellis  Elora Ember Emery  F Fable Faria Favor Fiora Frady G Galit Genoa Gitel Glory Greer H Halle Hania Haven Henna Hodan I Imani Indie Isley Italy Itzel J Janae Jayla Jessa Jovie Judea K Kairi Kalea Karma Keely Kinza L Laine Leela Liana Lotus Lyric M Mabry Maven Miata Monet Myana N Nahla Neysa Nieve Niobe Nyree P Paris Peace Penda Piper Pixie R Reese Reign Riley River Rowan S Sable Salem Scout Sevyn Storm T Tabor Tatum Tegan Topaz Tulip Z Zahra Zalia Zaria Zenia Zowie What are your favorite 5-letter contemporary girls' names?

Defining Vintage Names

In the naming world, vintage is another word for old-fashioned. However, the term is never described with specific rankings. I know that vintage names come back into style after a long hibernation, but how popular does a name have to be in order to become a vintage name of its era?  I say a name would have to be popular enough to date to its era, which is generally around the top 200. I will also limit my definition to names that have risen in use since their lowest point to clarify that they're beginning to feel stylish again. Here are some names that first peaked in the top 200 between 1880 and 1945.  GIRLS' NAMES: Belle Essie Ida Maud Vera BOYS' NAMES: Clark Harvey Ira Otis Warren However, if I limit my definition of vintage to the popular choices of the late modern period (1750-1945) in America, then that would mean excluding several other old-fashioned sounding names. Names can also feel vintage if they ranked within the top 100 names in other English-speaking countrie

Scarlett vs. Scarlet

Today I begin a new series on my blog in which I compare two very similar names, including separate spellings of the same name. I will be starting off with Scarlett and Scarlet.  OVERVIEW: Scarlett and Scarlet have been used as unisex, though mostly masculine, names since the seventeenth century. Yet, Scarlett was brought to attention as a completely feminine name via Scarlett O'hara from Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel, Gone with the Wind .  As Scarlett got more popular, Scarlet followed. By the time Scarlett became popular in 2011, Scarlet was already in the top 500. It stays there to this day.  Even though they're simply spellings of the same name, each name has their own advantages. Thus, it is very possible to prefer one spelling of the other.  SCARLETT: Feels more complete -Scarlet strikes some people as "incomplete", yet the extra "t" changes it. Removes negative associations -Scarlet easily brings to mind scarlet fever along with the phrase "

Psuedovintage Names

"Fake vintage/antique" or psuedovintage names are choices that are commonly identified as revival names, except that they're really not. They retain an old-fashioned style without ever being popular enough to date. Parents who are searching for names that aren't too old-fashioned might like this list.  In order to qualify as psuedovintage, a name must: have a clear reason for sounding old-fashioned (popular elsewhere, nickname, famous person).  have been used for a total of under 50 babies before 1945.  have never ranked within the U.S. top 200.  Before I begin my list, I have to say that psuedovintage is not the same as transparent. Psuedovintage names certainly feel old-fashioned when they're not while transparent names can easily be identified as traditional by some and contemporary by others (i.e. Scarlett and Beau).  GIRLS' NAMES: Agatha (unranked)-Agatha has a very witchy sound, but it only made the top 200 in England in 1840 and reached the 300s in the